Let’s talk plugins!
Those little guys that make life in wordpress land soooo much more manageable. I’ve been with wordpress ever since I started blogging, so I can’t speak for all my Blogger friends out there, but one of the things I’ve heard people like so much about wordpress is the ability to have plugins. I’m no blogging guru, but I wanted to share the plugins that make my life (and my site) so much easier to manage.
10 WordPress Plugins I Can’t Live Without
SEO is like a dirty word in the blog world. It’s something that mystifies us all. That’s why Yoast SEO is a Godsend. This little plugin idiot proofs the complicated process that is SEO. It literally walks you through, with detailed explanation, how to make your post as SEO friendly as possible. When the little light is red your post sucks SEO wise. When it’s yellow it’s ok SEO wise, and when it’s green you’ve hit the SEO jackpot! Woot woot!
The spam struggle is so real. Before I had Akismet, I was getting hundreds of spam comments a day. I had to go through and delete them all individually and it was such a headache. Akismet takes care of all of the icky spam for me. Every once in a while, I’ll get a spam comment that sneaks through. But instead of getting hundreds a day I’ll get maybe 2 per month, which is definitely something I can live with.
Guys, this plugin was a game changer for me. I am so in love with it and I tell anyone who will listen how much I love it. For me, blog reading is all about accessibility. If a blog has great content but it’s obnoxious and a headache to click around and find things, I’m more than likely going to leave; no matter how amazing the content is. Content Views makes everything so neat and tidy looking. The best part is that it is super simple to use.
Instead of clicking on one of my topics and finding a long half page snippet of the article, Content Views lets me arrange all of my posts in a grid like format, displaying the title and the featured picture of the post.
Jetpack by WordPress.com
Jetpack is a neat little default plugin that each self-hosted wordpress.org site comes with automatically. Basically it lets you still have access to some of the great things wordpress.com offers once you transition over to self-hosted wordpress.org. For example, I had hundreds of subscribers that followed my blog via their wordpress.com readers. When I transitioned to wordpress.org, I was afraid I might loose those followers. Jetpack makes it super easy to transfer all my wordpress.com followers to my new and improved self-hosted wordpress.org site.
Genesis Enews Extended
If you use something like Mailchimp or Mail Munch for your email list or newsletter, Genesis Enews Extended is perfect for you. This plug-in lets me integrate my sign-up form into my blog, but lets it match completely to my theme. No settling for those ugly basic sign-up forms available through Mailchimp!
Genesis Responsive slider
On my home page I have a slider of 6 pictures that rotates through. I love the variety it gives. Genesis Responsive Slider is what I use for that slider. Once again, it’s super easy to use, and it gives my blog that extra feel of extravagance.
Disqus Comment System
Before I had Disqus I had the wordpress basic commenting system, which was so blahh. Not only that, but the responses I typing back to comments wasn’t always getting delivered to the commenter. They would have to check back at the blog post just to see the answer to their comment, ick! Upgrading to Disqus was such a good idea and I’m so glad I did it. Now all of my commenters get notifications when I respond. Yay!
This little plugin doesn’t do anything for the looks of my blog, but it is working its butt off behind the scenes! Slow-loading sites are the worst. Ain’t no body got time for dat! WP Smush takes all my photos and smushes the file size waaay down, which in turn makes my site’s load time much faster.
The best way to get your posts seen is to make it super easy to share! Enter Sumo Me. My Sumo Me hangs out on every page of my blog on the left hand side of my page. It makes it easy to share posts on several different platforms, and you can customize the social media sites you want make available to share on.
GA Google Analytics
I can’t have a post about blogging without mentioning analytics can I? Definitely not. If you want to do anything at all with your blog in terms of sponsored posts or money-making you need to have Google Analytics set up to track your traffic. I’ll admit, I put off installing Google Analytics sooo long because I was so afraid of having to put that little bit of code into my site. Then through the blogger grapevine I heard about the GA Google Analytics plug-in that basically makes the whole process super easy, and the best part is you don’t have to mess with any scary code!